Life is Worth Living
STARRING – Jimmy Stewart – Donna Reed – Lionel Barrymore – Thomas Mitchell
DIRECTED BY – Frank Capra – 1946 Black & White
It is the story of George Bailey, a man who struggles all his life between his responsibilities — to his family, his father’s business, and the people of his community — and his personal desires for adventure, success, and wealth. The audience grows to know and love George, as well as to identify with his day-to-day struggles through a series of extended flashback scenes depicting the major events of his life. We are introduced to all the people whom George loves and holds dear including his loving wife, Mary. When George is confronted with a traumatic and potentially scandalous crisis, he is emotionally pushed over the edge and contemplates suicide. His guardian angel, Clarence, visits him in the “nick of time” and shows George what a difference his life has made to his family and his friends. Clarence does this by showing him what the lives of others would be like had he never been born. This film is a tremendous vehicle for teaching the value of making good, conscientious decisions and how subsequent choices and actions affect other people. We can learn to put our own life in perspective when, like George Bailey, we envision how much one man can change the lives of others through his actions and decisions.